The field of computer programming is ever-changing, making it an exciting career opportunity for those who love a good challenge. Unfortunately, just like anything you try, you won’t be perfect and mistakes will happen. Consider yourself normal, as any great programmer started off just like you and made similar mistakes. There are actually several common problems that all programmers tend to encounter when they first enter the field.

1. User Connections and Communication

It is imperative that programmers understand what a user wants, as it is these features that are built into the software to make them user-centric. What you and your development team may have in mind for a program may be different from what your users are requesting for how a product should work. When you are new, you may not be in on the meetings with clients or get to interact frequently with users. This can make it harder to really know how to balance what the user wants against what you are capable of offering. If you are able to talk to those who have direct access to the users, such as designers or user experience experts, you can get more direction on how to focus your code.

2. Working Through the Bugs

After a successful and productive week of work, you spend the weekend relaxing and congratulating yourself on picking things up quickly. However, you are met by your coworker on Monday with several pages of Javascript log errors. This can be demotivating, and it can cause an overwhelming amount of work. Some bugs are easier to fix than others, but with a lengthy list, the problem is probably quite complex. Don’t take it too harshly, as bugs or errors are common when working with coding and programming. You aren’t-and will never be-immune to them, but the good news is that bugs can be fixed. Rather than stressing and jumping right into a solution, develop some debugging strategies to make your problem easier to understand and manage. Try to understand how and why the errors happened. If you can reproduce them, it can give you a place to start on where to fix them. You can also try working with the tester who located the bug or noticed the errors for assistance.

3. Tackling New Technology

Your formal instruction will only take you so far, as things like tools, libraries, and frameworks are continually being updated. Some of these only last for a year or two. Updated versions can throw a new programmer for a loop, so adapting to the new tech quickly and efficiently is critical to your success in the field. The pressure to be flexible and think on your feet can be daunting, but with a little proactive attention, you can avoid crumbling under the pressure. Even though you feel your workday leaves no time for extras, it will be worth the effort to take 20 or 30 minutes a day to try and learn the new program. You may find that you are able to work more efficiently in the new program, so it is in your best interest to make the effort expanding your abilities. You can also try online courses or video to help introduce you to new coding practices or tools that are emerging on the market. Continually improving your skills makes you more marketable, but it also fosters new levels of creativity and innovation as you create code.

As a new programmer, you will probably struggle with your nerves and confidence in your abilities, but just like any other career choice, practice makes perfect. If you devote your time and effort to learning all you can and working to implement your skills accurately, the industry will be better off due to your input and ingenuity.